Remember our first photography feature of Adrian Frost? We were so excited to be able to showcase some impressive South African work, and now we are even more excited to host our second photography feature! This lady is one heck of a talent - Yolandé Marx is most definitely one of our top favourite South African wedding photographers, and we've been following her work closely for some time now. She has an incredible online presence and regularly updates her beautiful website, Facebook page and Twitter feed. There is no stopping this photographer, and we just think her work is sensational. But enough with the intro - sit back and read what she has to say about her photography. And of course, enjoy the feast for your eyes!
How did you get into photography? Was it a hobby that expanded into a business, or has it been a dream since you were young?
I wanted to be so many things when I was young: actor, writer, teacher, veterinarian. It changed like the seasons! Eventually I settled on studying BCom Marketing Management at the University of Pretoria. When I obtained my degree I couldn't imagine myself as a corporate living in Gauteng and sitting in traffic every day of my life. So I moved back home to Middelburg and saw an ad in the local newspaper for a journalist. I have always loved writing and being creative, so I grabbed my Grade 12 essays and applied for the job. Since it was a small community newspaper, you kind of do a little bit of everything. I photographed everything, from criminals being hand-cuffed as I went along on police chases to court trials, accidents, sport, people.My cousin asked me to photograph her Matric farewell in August 2008. That's when the bug bit me. I photographed another cousin's Matric farewell after that and then my first wedding on Valentine's Day 2009. I did a bit of research a few days before the wedding, looking online for poses and tips and I remember thinking: "There are actually people who photograph weddings for a living?! How do they cope with the stress?" I decided I would NEVER become a wedding photographer and this wedding was going to be a one time thing. Fortunately for me, I enjoyed that wedding so much that I've never looked back :)
How long have you been shooting weddings for full time?
This is my second year.
You are based in Cape Town, but often travel around South Africa to shoot. Why not stay in one city?
I actually never thought I'd travel this much! I moved to Cape Town all the way from Mpumalanga to get away from the small town "atmosphere" but since then I've had more bookings back home than when I was living there! I think people like to think that their photographer flew up from another province than to book one in their own town :) Plus, I love to travel and see new places and experience new things. When I first saw Cape Town I couldn't believe such a beautiful place existed in our country (remember I come from a dirty ol' mining town!).
What inspires your photography?
At the moment I draw a lot of inspiration from international photographers, including Jose Villa, Elizabeth Messina, Jonas Peterson and Caroline Ghetes. I don't really have too much time these days to look at blogs like I used to (read blog-stalker!), so I'm very selective in whose work I follow. I guess light and life inspires it. As a journalist I used to document some pretty gruesome things and now I just appreciate capturing anything with "life" in it.
Besides photography, what are your other loves?
I love writing. I actually started writing a book about 4 years ago. But every 6 months when I get time to pursue it further I change the plot and the characters (aargh! I even frustrate myself!). I also love reading and have a weird habit of watching movies while I edit :)
Besides wedding photography, do you shoot anything else?
Sometimes I do get requests for corporate shoots, engagements or family sessions and I definitely enjoy doing those! I have a lot of respect for newborn photographers though. I tried my hand at it with the arrival of my nephew in December and he had me working HARD for those images!
If you had to choose a photographer to take your own wedding photos, who would it be?
Haha, uhm.. your talking about my non-existant wedding? Ok :) Well, I'd probably tell me husband-to-be that he can forget about buying a house. We'll be paying off our photographer :)
I don't care how much they charge I will most likely go for someone with a similar style to mine. I don't really have a clue who I'd choose at the moment as I tend to change my mind like it's nobody's business.
You explain on your website that "Light and Romance" describe your photography best. Tell us more about your aesthetic.
Gosh, I've always found it hard to explain what I see in my images. I'd like to believe that I capture very rare moments that most eyes will miss. I keep my eye on my viewfinder like all the time! I believe that's what any bride wants from her wedding day. Yes, she wants to look beautiful and I use light and posing to get those images for her. But she also wants to "see" her day like she wasn't able to during it. Most brides are nervous and a lot of things pass them by unnoticed. That's what I try and achieve. I want to show her how the little flower girls stood in the corner comparing dresses and how her grandpa fell asleep during the ceremony. Those are things that I would treasure and I believe my clients will too! Regarding style, I combine for a mix of 'natural' and a mix of 'documentary'. I use flash very rarely and try and be as unobtrusive as possible.
What do you see in the future for yourself in the next few years?
I dream big! My dad always told us that if you can dream it, you can do it. I'd like to build a strong and solid foundation for my business over the next couple of years. I've come so far in such a short time and I'd like to build on that and become a good and recognizable photographer in South Africa. My biggest personal goal is to travel overseas. I've never left SA and despite seeing movies and pictures, I'm refusing to believe other continents exist until I see them for myself! LOL.
And what are your wedding/engagement shoot rates?
Right now my rates are relatively standard compared to others in the industry. However, I like to remain exclusive and I try and get to know my couples a bit better before they book me in order to secure a good fit. It won't help the images one tiny bit if we are uncomfortable with each other! But you can always send me an email and we can talk about nitty gritty stuff like budgets (bleh.. hate that word).
Tell us about yourself in three words..
Nervous, resourceful, dreamer.
How can people get hold of you?
Please finish these sentences:
Right now... I'm happy about the fact that my washing is done, my emails are up to date and I can turn on a movie and edit!
Photography... was my meal ticket out of an unhappy, unfulfilled life.
Tea... with 2 sugars and milk please!
People would say... that I'm "oulik". It's Afrikaans for 'nice & sweet'. I hate that description!
When I wake up in the morning... the first thing I think is "I hope I have some yoghurt left. I'm hungry!"
I have a habit ... of checking my Facebook updates. Like. All. Day.
In a year... I want to switch from Canon to Nikon.
If I had a million Rand... I would spend it all on me. I'm kidding! ... or am I? No seriously I'd buy myself the necessary gear and seal a few other holes. Then I'd take a percentage of the money, make little envelopes with a cash cheque of R50 000 each and hand it out to random homeless people I see on the street. Can you imagine how that would feel!
All photographs credited and copyrighted to Yolandé Marx. Her permission has been given for these photographs to be used on Ruby & the Swallow Design Collective, but not for them to be replicated elsewhere.
Labels: aroundsouthafrica, Local, photographer, photography